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Meanwhile, at Griffith Park...

As Griffith Park begins its recovery, city officials are debating the timetable for reopening sections of the flame-ravaged park. As of Friday, the process seemed a little confused. City Councilman Tom LaBonge and city recreation and parks chief Jon Murki, within five minutes of each other, offered differing estimates of what would be open this weekend.

LaBonge, speaking at a news conference with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, said that the zoo and the park's iconic merry-go-round would both be open to the public on Saturday. Murki, who attended the same conference but didn't speak publicly, later said that merry-go-round definitely wouldn't be open, and the zoo was unlikely.

-Ashraf Khalil

The pair then had a brief public debate with LaBonge pushing for a faster reopening schedule than Murki was comfortable with.

At one point, LaBonge envisioned opening up some of the hiking trails in time for the weekend, a notion that Murky immediately dismissed.

"Jon, they're going to come anyway," the councilman said.

"It's still too unstable," said Murki, who has the final say on the park's status. "We want to open up the park, but I'm really concerned."


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Karl Dahlquist

Is Griffith Park Tom LaBonge's personal fiefdom. There was a very large ash storm this afternoon coming from the burn areas and blowing over I-5 and into Glendale and Burbank. If you do go to the park, keep that in mind....there will be particulates in the air.

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